Home School Court Report
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No. 3

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- disclaimer -
Homeschoolers Unite for Freedom

Who we are

Home School Legal Defense Association has been defending homeschool freedom since the organization was founded in 1983 by Michael Farris and Mike Smith. With a staff of over 60 employees, HSLDA now serves nearly 80,000 home-educating families.

“We are committed to defending your right to homeschool, monitoring homeschool legislation in all 50 states, and promoting home education,” says HSLDA President Mike Smith. “Our members can count on us to support them when they run into trouble regarding their homeschool.”

For more information, or to join HSLDA, call 540-338-5600.

Meet your team

The attorneys of Home School Legal Defense Association, which was founded by Michael Farris (fourth from left) and Mike Smith (fourth from right.)

Whether you are struggling to understand your state's homeschool law or are falsely accused of educational neglect, our nine attorneys stand with you to protect your homeschool freedom. HSLDA's legal department staff answer your calls, letters, and emails on issues ranging from “Is it legal to teach my children at home?” to “Help! There's a social worker standing on my doorstep!” You'll also find them closely monitoring the homeschool laws in your state.

All of these men are homeschool dads, and they're committed to helping you raise your children to become well-educated young men and women who make a positive contribution in our world.


IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Homeschooling a child with special needs can render a family more susceptible to questions and regulation from their school district. Of particular concern to homeschoolers is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Enacted in 1975, IDEA provides federal funding to public schools to offer services—such as equipment, books, and therapy—to public schoolchildren with special needs. Some funding is also given to schools to provide services for private school children, including homeschoolers (in states where a homeschool is legally considered a private school). Even though IDEA offers various services to all eligible children, parents of privately educated children have the right to refuse an evaluation if they do not intend to accept public services.

CAPTA: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Enacted in 1974, CAPTA provides federal funding to state social services departments and, in turn, requires social workers to report, investigate, and pursue all “suspected” child abuse tips. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act, which requires social workers to be trained in the constitutional right to privacy of individuals and families, and to explain to families the allegations against them.

Unfortunately, because some social workers remain untrained or ignore families' rights, many innocent homeschooling parents and their children are subjected to privacy-invading interviews and examinations.

HSLDA continues to defend our member families who find themselves the targets of false allegations of child neglect or abuse. If you are an HSLDA member, contact us immediately if you are confronted by a social worker demanding entrance into your home or an interview with your children. Our staff can usually deter them from unnecessarily invading your privacy.